Jolliffe Of Stella Bella In The Race To Be Winemaker Of The Year

Luke Jolliffe, winemaker at Stella Bella, is proud to have been named one of the top 10 finalists of The Wine Society Young Winemaker of the Year Awards for 2012. Jolliffe is one of the two WA finalists, with the other one being Liam Clarke from Heafod Glen Wines, in Swan Valley.

The news article “Stella Bella‘s Luke is a winemaking leader” has full details on this story. It says the following: “Three titles will be awarded at a dinner in Sydney on November 9 – Wine Society Young Winemaker of the Year, judged by a panel of industry leaders, including James Halliday, Ian Riggs, Brian Walsh and John Belsham; Young Winemaker Supporters’ Choice, decided by sponsors and wine industry media; and Young Winemaker Finalists’ Choice, judged by fellow finalists.”

Currently in their 12th year, the awards recognise the talents and achievements of the most brilliant young winemakers across New Zealand and Australia.

Speaking of his nomination, Jolliffe said, “I feel privileged to be nominated. To be recognised by your industry peers for wines you are so intimately involved with on a day to day basis is an achievement in itself. It makes me proud to be representing Stella Bella, Margaret River, and our vineyards to the best of my ability.”

Born and raised in South Australia, Jolliffe garnered a strong interest in the wine industry thanks to some family friends.

After finishing Bachelor of Agricultural Science with a major in Viticulture from Adelaide University, he worked as a viticulture technical officer at Hardy’s Tintara, McLaren Vale.

After finishing his post graduation in oenology, Jolliffe worked as a viticulturist and later operations manager at Forest Hill.

He went to Rhone Valley in France in 2005 where he worked during the vintage season.

Jolliffe joined Stella Bella in 2007 as vintage assistant. He was soon promoted to the rank of assistant winemaker in 2008 and later winemaker in 2009.

Asked what ingredients are necessary to become an excellent winemaker, he replied, “dedication, passion and being really intimately involved in wines day to day, and a good vineyard helps a lot.”

Jolliffe likes the traditional Margaret River wines like cabernet sauvignon, chardonnays and cabernet blends.

To those planning to enter the wine industry, he advised the following: “Don’t expect to just jump into it and learn everything overnight. It takes 10 to 15 years of experience.”

For details on the awards go to

About Benji

I am married and live on a farm near Margaret River with my wife, daughter and son. I set up The Margaret River Guide to assist people coming to Margaret River Western Australia to easily find what they are looking for. I also wanted to allow people to find activities they did not know about and to be able to openly comment on/ review businesses.

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